This is the first part of a 3-post series on meditation.
Howdy! After the last post on the merits of being in Camp 30 Day Challenge, I feel it right to give you a sneak peek into my January challenge – meditation.
“Meditation?! What, are you some type of Buddha or somethin’?”
No, good sir or madam, I am not “some type of Buddha or somethin’”. But here me out. In this post, I’m gonna tell you just why meditation is so damn brilliant, and why meditation is for everyone. Not just buddhas .
Ever heard of the term “sharpening the saw”?
Sharpening the saw is a metaphor to describe keeping you (the saw) in tip-top condition (sharp), allowing you to slice through life’s challenges with ease.
Sharpening the saw, people. One of the 7 habits of highly successful people, so I’m told.
Abraham Lincoln said:
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
As Lincoln does to his axe, we will do to our lives.
How does Meditation Keep Aforementioned Axe/Saw Sharp?
Ok, enough beating round the metaphorical bush.
Meditation is the ultimate saw-sharpener on the market today, because it gives you razor-sharp mental clarity.
Razor-sharp mental clarity.
Want some of that? Who doesn’t want some of that? I know I do.
So how does this work, exactly?
Picture the modern world. Picture the modern world, and all its modern world demands.
To like on Facebook, or to not like on Facebook. To buy Fairtrade bananas, or to not buy Fairtrade bananas. To watch a movie, or complete another revision session. Emails. Deadlines. Project proposals. Strained co-worker relations. Taxes. Bills.
Those modern world demands sure are demanding, ranging from the astonishingly trivial to the “Yeah, I should probably do that some time.”
The problem is thus. At one time, it is quite possible, nay, quite probable, that the majority of your demands are swimming round in your mind.
Like sharks competing for helpless fish in a feeding frenzy, your thoughts compete for your mental attention and energy.
And we all know the result. We all know the feeling when we’ve got too much on our minds.
Paralysis by analysis, baby!
With so much to do, our mental infrastructure throws in the towel, leaving us running and bumbling around, going from task to task and not getting anything done. The old adage of a headless chicken comes to mind.
Meditation empties said thoughts out of said overloaded mind as a bucket would be emptied of water. As the calming waves of the meditation soundtrack wash over you , you start thinking less, and perhaps drift into another state of consciousness entirely.
Upon waking from said trance, your most important thoughts percolate back into your mind. Thus, one is left with the truly important thoughts – the tasks that have real value.
These tasks are those essential to you. These tasks are the fundamental stepping stones – the bread and butter – to becoming a stronger version of ourselves.
So, with the most important tasks in mind, and the rabble from the crowd of less important tasks gone, one can calmly proceed from task to task, having a generally kick-ass day.
Why is this so?
Meditation forces you to zoom out. We all get stuck in a line of thought – meditation zooms you out, allowing you to see the bigger picture of your life. And from a bigger picture, it’s easier to pick out what’s important.
That’s my theory anyway.
From May to August last year, I meditated everyday, and I totally vouch for the razor-sharp mental clarity that meditation induces. In fact, I could argue that DreamBigStartSmall wouldn’t be here without meditation. After losing the habit after returning to university, I’m determined to pick it back up.
Why did I start in the first place?
Because Elliott Hulse swears by it. And if Elliott Hulse swears by it, it’s probably worth your most gallant punt.
Take-away: Why Meditate
Meditation, then. Not just for buddhas.
How to get some of that razor-sharp, meditation-induced mental clarity in the next post.
As always, Dream Big Start Small!
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